Camp, Cats, Pools, and Travels!

FOOD

Well the past few weeks have been a bit crazy, but lots of good food involved.  I have a few new books to review (and giveaway), so I can’t share all I’ve been up to just yet!  I’m really excited to though, as there’s some great dishes coming your way in the coming weeks.

There have been smoothies, Tofurky, and plenty of meals out.  D and were traveling for a few days, so there were many yummy dishes out and about in our travels too!

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my garden is still pumping out cucs like crazy, so I've had a lot of cucumber toast sammiches!
my garden is still pumping out cucs like crazy, so I’ve had a lot of cucumber toast sammiches!

Of course I had to go out for Thai at least once in the past couple weeks!

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And tacos….

pressure cooker pinto beans and all the toppings
pressure cooker pinto beans and all the toppings
taco potato!  One of my fav ways to change up my tacos
taco potato! One of my fav ways to change up my tacos

And a tofurky feast night

tofurky, mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, roast carrots, and sweet corn bread
tofurky, mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, roast carrots, and sweet corn bread

And finally, I made one of my favorite alfredo sauces from Lunchbox Bunch, and it’s made from acorn squash!  I pretty much just make the sauce, though I use half the Italian Seasoning.

the sauce
the sauce

I made some brown rice pasta, and when that was boiling, added peas, green beans, kale, and brussel sprouts.  SO yummy.

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And finally, Orlando eats from my long weekend trip with D!

probably the most boring meal.  Oatmeal and an English muffin with jelly
probably the most boring meal. Oatmeal and an English muffin with jelly
bunch the last day at White Wolf Café.  English muffin with sliced tomatoes and grits!
bunch the last day at White Wolf Café. English muffin with sliced tomatoes and grits!
tofu scramble, sausage, and home fries burrito with polenta - from Ethos Vegan Kitchen
tofu scramble, sausage, and home fries burrito with polenta – from Ethos Vegan Kitchen
eggplant and zucchini vegan pizza from Red Circle at Universal
eggplant and zucchini vegan pizza from Red Circle at Universal
my very fav Epcot dish - from Marakesh.  Pita, hummus, couscous, tabbouleh, marinated olives, and lentils.
my very fav Epcot dish – from Marakesh. Pita, hummus, couscous, tabbouleh, marinated olives, and lentils.
our first Babycakes!  They've opened in Downtown Disney, and I had mint choc chip and D had French toast cupcakes.  SO GOOD.
our first Babycakes! They’ve opened in Downtown Disney, and I had mint choc chip and D had French toast cupcakes. SO GOOD.
lemon potato wedges from Taverna Opa
lemon potato wedges from Taverna Opa
zucchini chips
zucchini chips

Full yet???

FITNESS

Most of my workouts have been runs, but also got in some biking when in Orlando!

D and I rented some bike share bikes in Orlando and biked around town!
D and I rented some bike share bikes in Orlando and biked around town!

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post ride sweaty selfie!
post ride sweaty selfie!

I also went to my first hot Vinyasa class in nearly 2 years.  I got dizzy, and this pic just shows how sweaty I got (and admittedly, it looks like I want to barf).

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D and I also walked for over 30 miles in the 4 days we were gone!

LIFE

Well, based on all the above pics, we’ve certainly been busy!  The week after the 4th of July holiday, D went back to working on days and living like a normal person.

It was also the week we prepped R for her 2 weeks at camp!  Shopping, ortho appointments (where she got her bottom braces put on), lots of family time, and packing.

driving to camp!
driving to camp!
dropping the young one off at camp!
dropping the young one off at camp!

After another work week, D and I had another short week and left for a quick trip to Orlando!  We have only gotten away alone together 1-2 times, so this was a pretty big deal.  First time we’ve ever flown anywhere together.

We had an absolute blast just wandering around town.  We did Epcot, and Universal City Walk a few times, but we also went to a casino (where I owned the blackjack table!), a blues club, and a bike ride.  It was an absolutely wonderful trip.

airport selfie as we were boarding our ridiculously early flight...
airport selfie as we were boarding our ridiculously early flight…
drinking a drink called Pimp Juice!
drinking a drink called Pimp Juice!

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this cracked me up....
this cracked me up….

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Today was back to the office and tomorrow is taking M to his university orientation day!

And here – more random pics from the past two weeks!

me & M
me & M
A & D
A & D
they're starting to like each other!
they’re starting to like each other!

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she loves the outdoor patio too!
she loves the outdoor patio too!

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cats missed the suitcase
cats missed the suitcase
harvest!
harvest!

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Veggie Burger Recipe, and am I a Politician Now?

FOOD

You know what I love about short weeks?  Pretty much everything, but beside that – I have more time to play in the kitchen

On Monday, the entire meal was dishes from the Vegan Richa’s great new book Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen.  Everything was so simple to make, and the family enjoyed everything.  I made the Cumin-Scented Rice with Peas and Onions in the rice cooker, and the Split Pea Soup with Potatoes in the pressure cooker.  It was made with chana dal, and came out more the consistency of dahl than soup, but was still amazing.  Served with spicy baked cauliflower, biscuits (I was too lazy to make naan), and some greens, it was awesome.  Also was my lunch the next day!

getting the Spicy Baked Cauliflower Florets ready (these were amazing)
getting the Spicy Baked Cauliflower Florets ready (these were amazing)


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For our 4th of July meal (grilled goodness, of course), I finally tried my first homemade veggie burger!  It’s hard to believe I’ve never made them before, but there ya go.  I was quite happy with how they came out, and will make them again, I’m sure.

Crissie’s Spicy Veggie Burger

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I imagine any bean will work)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (I had some leftover in the fridge from an earlier meal – great way to use up leftover grains)
  • 1/4 sweet potato, shredded
  • 1 diced jalapeno
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (fresh coriander, for my overseas friends), chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

Directions

  • Preheat over to 350
  • Prepare a cookie sheet.  I used parchment paper and a light spray of cooking oil.
  • Run the chickpeas and rice through a food processor until well mashed.  Put into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix well with your hands.  If it’s too sticky, add more breadcrumbs.  If it’s too try, add a little more BBQ or mustard
  • Prepare into 6 patties
  • bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  • YOU CAN STOP HERE….OR GRILL THEM
  • I pre-baked them so they wouldn’t fall apart on the grill.  D grilled them up, and they were awesome.
before baking them - and you can stop after baking and eat them
before baking them – and you can stop after baking and eat them
my grilled version piled high with lettuce, tomato, onion, sriracha mayo, mustard, and grilled mushroom.
my grilled version piled high with lettuce, tomato, onion, sriracha mayo, mustard, and grilled mushroom.

Dinner also consisted of grilled broccoli and zucchini, corn on the cob, two different pasta salads, cole slaw, and brownies.

my plate. So full!
my plate. So full!

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Just Mayo, raw sugar, cider vinegar, and salt.  Simple, but yummy!  Shredded cabbage and sweet potato.
Just Mayo, raw sugar, cider vinegar, and salt. Simple, but yummy! Shredded cabbage and sweet potato.

There were also several BAS’s, smoothies, rice and beans, and even some homemade sweet pickles from my very fruitful cucumber plant!

our typical topping spread for rice and beans nights - which we have at least a couple times per month.
our typical topping spread for rice and beans nights – which we have at least a couple times per month.
my bowl - always has crumbled tortilla chips for some crunch!  Great way to use the chips at the bottom of the bag
my bowl – always has crumbled tortilla chips for some crunch! Great way to use the chips at the bottom of the bag
BAS that D made for me from the grocery.  Plus my oil-free balsamic dressing.
BAS that D made for me from the grocery. Plus my oil-free balsamic dressing.
D sending me his smoothie selfie!  :)
D sending me his smoothie selfie! 🙂
pickles!
pickles!
salad in a jar!  BBQ sauce is the dressing here.
salad in a jar! BBQ sauce is the dressing here.

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another BBQ chickpea salad
another BBQ chickpea salad
a bad picture of an amazing vegan quesadilla from Hell's Kitchen in Norfolk.
a bad picture of an amazing vegan quesadilla from Hell’s Kitchen in Norfolk.
sounds weird, but this was amazing.  It's Oh She Glow's savory oatmeal and lentil breakfast.  I added spinach in mine for some greens.  It was very, very good.
sounds weird, but this was amazing. It’s Oh She Glow’s savory oatmeal and lentil breakfast. I added spinach in mine for some greens. It was very, very good.

FITNESS

Most workouts have been runs, but there has been a trip to hot yoga in there this past week too.  I’m still loving my new running shoes, so that’s always exciting!

after my run yesterday.  I really need to sign up for a race soon.
after my run yesterday. I really need to sign up for a race soon.

LIFE

D has been on nights most of this week, so it’s been us juggling keeping everything rolling as smoothly as possible.  At least it’s summer break for the kids, so it’s much easier than it may have been if it weren’t!

R is getting ready to head to camp next weekend for a full two weeks!  She’s excited.  I’m nervous.  Typical mom stuff 🙂  The camp is nut free, and she went last year, so I know she’ll be safe, but still….always nervous when your baby takes off!

On Thursday afternoon, I met up with NS for some happy hour, snacks, and girl fun.  It was a nice break.  I got home before D had to leave for work.

On Thursday, I also received very exciting news!  Most of you who know me, know that I have a passion for health and healthcare, and my long term goals are to get involved on the policy side to help generate programs and public policies to provide equity in health care and healthcare access.  Well, on Thursday I was awarded a political appointment in my local government to advice the city council on health and well being!  I’ll likely be sworn in in September, but I’m looking forward to getting involved and making a difference in my community.

Other than that, our week has been pretty chill.  I leave you with random pics, and of course the morning java shots!

Ginny helping me in the kitchen
Ginny helping me in the kitchen
harvest!
harvest!

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Bumble wanting morning java too...
Bumble wanting morning java too…
okay, not morning, not java, but still my fav spot in the house
okay, not morning, not java, but still my fav spot in the house

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Bumble enjoying a lounge chair
Bumble enjoying a lounge chair

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raining skies on Friday night
raining skies on Friday night

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studying
studying
meal planning!
meal planning!
lazy day with Bumble
lazy day with Bumble

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Hope the remainder of your weekend is peaceful!